Why you still need omega-3 fatty acids

Why you still need omega-3 fatty acids

(HealthDay)—After vitamins and minerals, fish oil with its omega-3 fatty acids is the most widely used supplement, taken by an estimated 10% of Americans.

So, when research reviews show that it doesn't provide the for people with that researchers thought it did, it's hard to know what to do.

One thing researchers do know is that omega-3s are essential fats—your body can't make them. So for general good health, you need to get them from diet.

The Main Types of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are found in fatty fish and some shellfish.
  • Alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA, is found in vegetable oils, nuts (especially walnuts), flax and some leafy vegetables.

Omega-3s can help reduce inflammation, a factor in both artery-clogging plaque and autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. There is some evidence that omega-3s offer modest rheumatoid arthritis symptom relief.

Omega-3s can thin blood and may reduce the likelihood of dangerous clots, but that could also mean it will take your blood longer to clot after a simple cut, for instance. This can be dangerous if you're also on a prescription blood thinner or take NSAIDs, which can cause bleeding ulcers. So talk to your doctor about potential drug interactions if you're considering supplements.

One important point about the research that found little or no heart benefits from is that most of those studies involved omega-3 supplements rather than foods naturally rich in these .

From the limited research that's been done, it appears that eating foods with naturally occurring omega-3s seems to be better than getting them through supplements, plus you get the other nutrients in the foods.

So put fatty fish like salmon, tuna and trout, or shellfish like crab, mussels and oysters, on the menu twice a week, and grab a handful of walnuts for a satisfying snack.


Explore further

Home remedies: Can fish oil supplements treat depression?

More information: The U.S. National Institutes of Health has a detailed factsheet on omega-3 fatty acids including possible explanations for conflicting research findings.

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Citation: Why you still need omega-3 fatty acids (2019, July 29) retrieved 22 September 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-07-omega-fatty-acids.html
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Jul 30, 2019
I use fish oil. Im a veteran it keeps my angle from stiffining up when I dont take it. It helps my food pass thru me wit less or quick clean up. As a active person and 7 yrs. of smokeless life style i(tabacco n marijuana) it kept me from having pain from inflamation. I give it to my son and watched his vision grow in strong. I dodged the eye Dr. In completes his grow cycle to at 9 he's taller. I understand it help his bdain grow more cells. Big Pharma aims to zhot down fish oil in fake research studies but there is to many reason to take it. Poor folks who cant afford seafood need it.I just cant convence poeple like teacher n his school to let him have it b4 lunch or even Acarola Vit.C chewables. I think drugs best for trama only after seeing side effect issues n lawsiuts.

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